LEONDRA JAMES, Manager, Analytics & Data Science AND Violinist

Q: How does each role affect the other? What is similar and what’s different?  
A: At Quigley-Simpson, I oversee the analytic initiatives and products for CPG brands. I work on developing dashboards that streamline our digital / social reporting using Datorama, Java, HTML and other tools. In my free time, I’m a musician and metal fan.

Growing up, I always had a love for math and music—regardless of genre. My undergraduate degree was in music (violin), despite my initial plan to study actuarial science. My start in analytics was interning for music promoters in my hometown Columbus, OH, which eventually lead to an analytics role for a metal magazine start-up.

Analytics requires the same level of curiosity, experimentation, and exploration as music. I love metal in particularly because it’s experimental by nature, and bands aren’t afraid to overstep genre boundaries. For example, one of my favorite bands, Polyphia, is highly influenced by classical, jazz, funk and trap. They also collaborated with R&B artist Masego, and it’s fantastic. The Algorithm uses electronica, and their music sounds like someone is doing hardcore coding. It’s an incredibly diverse genre that relies on a cohesive team effort to develop something fairly complex. I feel that analytics requires the same level of dedication, commitment and open mindedness. 

Q: What’s inspiring you today in your work or personal projects? 
A:  Curiosity, experimentation, the desire for knowledge and the desire to contribute to a team is what inspires me the most at work. I also enjoy making something technical easily digestible to non-technical audiences. I believe this to be true with musicians as well. When I’m working, metal happens to get me going like a shot of caffeine. If I need to knock something out, Sevendust, Breaking Benjamin, Fire From the Gods and Killswitch Engage are some recent go-tos because they’re not as distracting. But it really depends on my mood.

Q: Where can we check out your personal work?  
A: I can’t say that I have much musical work to share. However, here are some photos of my musical life.

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